An Overview of IMAHelps Our volunteers bring healthcare andhope to people who often have neither
What is IMAHelps?• IMAHelps is a non-profit organization that provides basic health and hygiene education, medical diagnoses, prescriptions and life-changing surgeries to some of the poorest people of Central and South America. 2
What is IMAHelps?• Formerly known as International Medical Alliance, the group was founded by Ines Allen, a former Cathedral City Rotarian, in 2000.• Here she is meeting with Robert Downes, the Charge D’Affairs of the US Embassy in Nicaragua during a visit to see IMAHelps volunteers in Esteli, Nicaragua last year. 3 3
What is IMAHelps?• In the past 12 years, IMAHelps has organized 13 medical missions and brought health education, life- changing surgeries, medical examinations, dental care and other free healthcare services to more than 100,000 impoverished people in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Tibet.• The group is now organizing a series of medical missions to Peru beginning next summer. 43
IMAHelps volunteers treat thousands of patients on every medical mission.• We know our healthcare services are needed 12 5
IMAHelps Volunteers Often Change Lives• Consider these examples! 13 6
Santos de Cruz Meza• For 67 years, Santos de Cruz Meza was the neighborhood pariah. Born with a cleft lip in Nicaragua, her deformity worsened with age, twisting her nose while the top of her mouth produced a frightening jumble of rotting, unusable teeth.“She wouldn’t dare go outside without a towel wrapped around her face,” said Guadalupe Gonzalez Cruz, her 22-year-old daughter. “Everyone made fun of her.”
Santos de Cruz Meza• Moved by her suffering, IMAHelps volunteers removed Cruz’s teeth and shaved her maxilla so that she could be fitted with dentures. Then they sewed her cleft lip shut, closing the fissure that had subjected her to nearly seven decades of torment and ridicule. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get home,” Santos de Cruz Meza said after surgery, “is take a walk down the street, just like everybody else.”
Jose Jesus Rodriguez• Jose Jesus Rodriguez is an 18-year-old coffee plantation worker who was born with an extra thumb on each hand, which IMAHelps surgeons removed.• In addition to being unsightly, Rodriguez said he could not move his extra thumbs and that they made it difficult for him to grasp various tools. He said the surgery would improve his job security in Nicaragua by helping to ensure that he could grasp tools and other farm implements 10 like his fellow coffee plantation employees.
Catalino Vallecito Torres• In Jinotega, Nicaragua, IMAHelps volunteers met 64- year-old Catalino Vallecito Torres, a coffee plantation worker who was electrocuted when he fell on a power line while trimming a tree.• His right leg was amputated just below his knee as a result of the electrocution, but the cut wasn’t made properly, so IMAHelps surgeons recut his leg and wrapped it so that it would heal properly. 11
Catalino Vallecito Torres• Robert Openshaw, an IMAHelps prosthetist from San Bernardino, Calif. also fitted Torres with a prosthetic leg so that he could walk again, retain some level of independence and eventually get back to work. 12
Hope For Those Without Hope• In some cases, there are no medical solutions. Doraldina Quevedo suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and lost the ability to walk 15 years ago. Her husband and three children have literally carried her from place to place because they couldn’t afford a wheelchair. After hearing Doraldina’s story, IMAHelps volunteers took up a collection amongst themselves and bought her a wheelchair.
Hope For Those Without Hope• Our patients in Jinotega included this 10-year-old boy with polio. IMAHelps volunteers couldn’t provide him with a medical solution. But we did give him his first set of wheels.• He was SO PROUD! 22 14
Hope For Those Without Hope • IMAHelps volunteers raised enough money amongst themselves to buy several wheelchairs, walkers and canes. • They donated one of the wheelchairs to “Celestina,” a 95-year-old woman whose family literally abandoned her at a hospital in Nicaragua. • IMAHelps Founder Ines Allen intervened on Celestina’s behalf and placed her in a local nursing home run by volunteers.
We Make Your Donations Count• Because our medical missions include volunteers from virtually every medical specialty, IMAHelps delivers an extremely high return on investment (ROI) of more than $100 for every dollar we receive in donations:-- In 2009, IMA volunteers raised $79,283 and provided $10,706,647 worth of medical care to 4,794 patients in Ibarra, Ecuador. That’s an ROI of $135 for every donated dollar.-- In 2010, IMA volunteers raised $86,980 and delivered $9,419,400 worth of medical care to 8,446 patients in Somoto, Nicaragua. That’s an ROI of $108 for every donated dollar.-- In 2011, IMA volunteers raised $60,000 and delivered $11,234,600 worth of medical care to 12,277 patients in Esteli, Nicaragua. That’s an ROI of $187 for every donated dollar.-- In 2012, IMAHelps volunteers raised $85,000 and delivered $13.4 16 million worth of medical care to 13,733 patients in Jinotega, 16 Nicaragua. That’s an ROI of $158 for every donated dollar.
What can you do?• Please support our efforts and get involved as we work to develop support for IMAHelps!• www.IMAHelps.org 26 17